A UK-wide trial, led by Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge utilising the Aparito Atom5™ platform, has found that a drug used to reduce the risk of blood clots does not help patients recovering from moderate and severe Covid – despite this approach being offered to patients.
The HEAL-COVID trial (Helping to Alleviate the Longer-term consequences of Covid-19) is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. To date, more than a thousand NHS patients hospitalised with Covid have taken part in HEAL-COVID, a platform trial that is aiming to find treatments to reduce the number who die or are readmitted following their time in hospital. HEAL-COVID enrols patients when they are discharged from hospital, following their first admission for Covid-19. They are randomised to a treatment and their progress tracked.
In these first results from HEAL-COVID, it’s been shown that prescribing the oral anticoagulant Apixaban does not stop Covid patients from later dying or being readmitted to hospital over the following year (Apixaban 29.1%, versus standard care 30.8%).
As well as not being beneficial, anticoagulant therapy has known serious side effects, and these were experienced by participants in the trial with a small number of the 402 participants receiving Apixaban having major bleeding that required them to discontinue the treatment.
There was also no benefit from Apixaban in terms of the number of days alive and out of hospital at day 60 after randomisation (Apixaban 59 days, versus standard care 59 days).
Following these results, the trial will continue to test another drug called Atorvastatin, a widely used lipid-lowering drug (‘a statin’) that acts on other mechanisms of disease that are thought to be important in Covid.
“This is a significant milestone for HEAL-COVID”, said Aparito CEO, Dr Elin Haf Davies. “These results demonstrate the importance of conducting this study and further research of other interventions for patients who have been hospitalised with Covid-19.”
The trial is being led by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and University of Cambridge, in collaboration with Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre (University of Liverpool) and Aparito.